Contents. The story of the growing of wheat and of some aspects of life on a large-scale wheat farm.
Preparation of the soil is the theme of the first sequence. As the commentator informs us that Mr. White is "a typical wheat farmer," Mr. White plows his field with a tractor and gang plow. After a brief conversation concerning the progress of the work, the farmer's son, Tom, exchanges places with his father and the plowing continues. The grain drill is filled, and the tractor pulls the drill across the field. Closeups show the manner in which the drill plants the seed. The commentator's explanations of climatic requirements and hazards of wheat farming are illustrated by brief scenes of storm clouds, of rain falling on a field of growing wheat, of poor wheat in rain-soaked soil, and of scattered stalks of wheat bending before blasts of wind.
The activities of the White family are sketched in the next sequence. As Mr. White milks his cows and repairs his fence, the commentator explains that the farmer's work is varied. Tom White is repairing the tractor when his sister brings him the announcement of a 4-H Club meeting. At the meeting a boy explains how he planted and cared for the family strawberry patch, a girl tells of baking a cake, and Tom White explains his care of a prize steer. The talks of the 4-H Club members are illustrated by views of the activities described.
The story of harvesting the ripened wheat, hiring and feeding harvest hands, and marketing the grain is told in the last portion of the film. Mr. White walks into the field and tests the ripeness of the wheat by crushing a few heads in his hands, blowing off the chaff, and examining the grains. He calls a neighbor on the telephone and asks him to operate the combine. In town he hires two men who are loafing on the street to help with the harvest. The harvest begins as the combine lumbers across the field. Cutter bars flash in the sun, the reel throws the grain onto the conveyer, and the grain pours into the hopper, as the commentator explains the operation of the combine.
Then comes the harvest dinner. Mrs. White finishes cooking dinner, and Mr. White calls, "Time for dinner." After drawing water at a windmill pump, the harvest workers wash, then sit down and eat from a food-laden table. After dinner the men return to the field, and again the combine cuts its way through the ripened wheat. A truck pulls alongside the combine, receives a load of grain from the hopper, and drives away. The grain is unloaded at the local grain elevator. Alternate views of a bread sign in a bakery window, a machine kneading dough, a baker weighing and rolling dough, and people eating bread emphasize the importance of wheat as a food.
Appraisal. Reported very good for showing how wheat is produced -- the type of land used, methods of planting and harvesting, the effect of climatic conditions, and the work of the farmer. Found useful in (1) developing an appreciation of the progress that has been made in agricultural methods and equipment, (2) showing the life of a wheat farmer and his family, and (3) stimulating an interest in the farmer's problems.
The film is organized about the life of a single family, uses characters and dialogue effectively, and tells its story clearly. In the elementary school, teachers were well pleased with the manner in which the film shows the cooperation of the entire family in the farm enterprise. At the junior and senior high school levels there was some criticism of lack of emphasis on problems of the small farmer.
March 20, 2013 Subject:
"You Looking For Work?"
Very good film by Encyclopedia Britannica about the many steps wheat takes before it goes to market. Farmer has to evaluate land, seed the land, wait, then combine the crops. He hires workers, the women do chores. Yup. That's it. But this was a fun sit through, straightforward, and not dull at all.